2012 drought drives up turkey prices for Thanksgiving

(WISH Photo)

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) – Preparing a Thanksgiving dinner begins at the grocery store, but consumers may notice a price increase on some holiday favorites this year.

According to Purdue Ag Economist Corinne Alexander, wholesale turkey prices are up eight to 10 percent from last year. The 2012 drought is one of the reasons why the prices are up.

“We’re still feeling the effects from that 2012 drought and this period of record feed costs that have pushed up livestock prices,” said Alexander.

She said wholesale meat prices, like beef and pork, are also higher because of the high feed costs. The PED virus in pigs is another cause for this year’s higher pork prices.

Alexander said frequent rainfall in Florida will also drive up the prices for fresh green beans.

“So, if you like fresh green beans for your Thanksgiving meal, you’ll see higher prices there,” said Alexander. “If you like green bean casserole, because those are canned green beans, you won’t see any price change there.”

Alexander said there is an ample amount of cranberries, white and sweet potatoes this year. However, sweet potatoes are in high demand and may cost more at the store.

“It turns out that U.S. consumers really love sweet potatoes,” said Alexander. “That is going to be driving the price of sweet potatoes up a bit this year.”

Alexander said there is still a large supply of apples, which means prices will remain steady for the fruit. Even though prices for meat and green beans will be higher for the holiday, she said there is better news for consumers next year.

“With the really large record corn and bean crops coming in and feed costs coming down, we’ll be looking at lower turkey prices next year,” said Alexander.

Alexander said the lower gas prices may help households have a little extra money to help with Thanksgiving costs. She said it will also help save money for those who travel for the holidays.

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